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LINDSEY'S BACKYARD ADVENTURE

Author: M.E. Hughes

Illustrator: Melanie Harr-Hughes

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Publisher: Tate Publishing, LLC, ½2007

Material: paperback

Summary: Because of her illness, Lindsey's world is pretty limited. She is always at home, even for school. She sees her life as very confined, even when she is in the backyard looking at the trees and counting the stones on the garden path. With the help of her grandfather, Lindsey learns that she has the freedom to explore by looking at what is around her and using her imagination. He shows her how what she sees as "limiting" is actually the beginning of something bigger. This is a text-driven, illustrated story about the adventures spawned from one's imagination.

Type of Reading: family reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 12

Interest Level: 7 to 10

Age of Child: Read with child nearly 8 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: This got a mixed reaction. Interest waned about half-way through, as our listener got tired of the questions.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a story with great potential. The pauses and steps backward while Lindsey reflects on a special memory are important to the plot, but aren't set up well (at least initially). I liked the author's idea of asking questions before the story to get kids thinking, but found her audience questions mid-plot disruptive. The vocabulary words are nice, but fortnight?

Pros: This is a thoughtful, valuable lesson for kids about accepting change, and helping them see that change is part of life's journey. Most kids won't know what the EB virus is, but they will easily relate it to their own experience: being sick from school for a week, being snowed in, or breaking a bone and wearing a cast.

Cons: The story's themes have value for individuals of all (or no) faiths. The Bible quotes and emphasis on "God's plan" may be off-putting to some.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The story offers a valuable lesson, and it would be nice to keep around for Tweeners, who often struggle with all the change that surrounds them. That said, there are other inspirational stories with characters that give them a chance to see themselves more clearly.

If You Liked This Book, Try: TERROR AT WOLF LAKE   MIA THE MEEK: THE MIA FULLERTON SERIES   A BOY'S FIRST DIARY

Educational Themes: There are several layers to the story that make this an educational book . First, there is the vocabulary list. Next, there is learning to see all change with a positive purpose. Then, take some time to talk about your own memories and relationships. And last, but not least, stop to explore the world around you. What can you see differently now that you are looking beyond just what your eyes take in?

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, health, illness, self worth, growing up, Christian

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2008

Other Reviews:




                 

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